It's been an action-packed season for Chuba Akpom. The forward's campaign began in Asia on the first team's pre-season tour and he went on to complete loan spells at Brentford and Coventry City during the winter.
During those loans, the 18-year-old was allowed to take part in the academy's Youth Cup and Uefa Youth League excursions and he's now back at the club with the sole objective of proving his worth as a future Arsenal star.
"The loan spells have helped me grow up a bit and playing alongside men has made me more mature"
"It's nice to be back in an Arsenal shirt," Akpoom told Arsenal.com. "I learned a lot on loan but it's good to bring back everything that I've learned to Arsenal and try and improve and push on to the first team.
"The loan spells have helped me grow up a bit and playing alongside men has made me more mature. The strength and pace of the game in League One is difficult to deal with so I've had to look after myself.
"It's more physical in League One. People are playing for their livelihoods and playing to earn bonuses, so it's not the same as under-21 football."
Akpom marked his return to Arsenal with a hat-trick in the under-21s' recent win over West Ham at London Colney. The England youth international has also been a key man in the run to the Youth Cup semi-finals and the Arsenal youngsters have a mouthwatering tie against Chelsea in their sights. But before that they will be looking to address their stuttering league season in tonight's clash with Manchester City at Meadow Park.
"Man City will be a big test for us," Akpom said. I know a few of their players and they've got a young talented team just like us so it will be tough, but we're at home and we've put in some strong performances at Boreham Wood this season, particularly in the Youth League.
"We've had young teams with a lot of inexperience both this year and last year but it's all about development at this stage. As long as you're learning that's the main thing. It's nice to win games and we've struggled to do that recently, but our target now is just to finish as high as possible."
Please note that tickets for Monday's game at Meadow Park are FREE.
We will have live tweets from tonight's game, Kick-off is 7pm (UK time)
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